It’s a good sign when a Club can recruit an International mid-season - but Jaydn Su’A isn’t just your regular run of the mill Rugby League player.
Having spent his entire career in Brisbane you can understand his culture shock when he touched down in Sydney for an opportunity to join the Rabbitohs.
But he seems to have a real sense of appreciation of his new city and new teammates.
“It’s definitely a lot bigger to what I’m used to,” Su’A admits.
“It’s a bit busier than Brisbane but it’s beautiful here and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and playing this weekend.
"I’ve met a couple of my teammates, but I haven’t met all of them. I’m looking to get to know them all this Friday (at training).
“The ones I have met welcomed me with open arms - I met Sammy (Burgess) just quickly and he seems to be filled with energy. I’m definitely looking forward to meeting the rest of the group because I’ve heard such good things about them.”
“He brings aggression and he'll add a lot to our forward pack. He’s a guy who wants to rip in and wants do the best for his teammates.Jason Demetriou Rabbitohs Assistant Coach
Having spent a majority of the season so far in the Intrust Super Premiership, the 21-year-old back rower, who made his International debut for Samoa earlier this year against Papua New Guinea, understands that first-grade opportunities won’t fall into his lap.
His journey will start this Saturday when he wears the famous Cardinal and Myrtle for the first time for the Canterbury Cup side at the Metricon High Performance Centre at Redfern Oval.
And you get an inkling that Su’A wants to prove himself, and show that he belongs in the first-grade squad. After all, he has 31 first-grade games under his belt already.
“Obviously I want to play first-grade,” Jaydn states.
“But in the meantime I’ll be playing Canterbury Cup this week. It'll be a good opportunity to learn our structures and hopefully, I can impress and put in a strong performance and we can get the win.”
One familiar face for Jaydn is assistant coach Jason Demetriou, who witnessed the dynamic young forward make his first-grade debut in 2016, and knows exactly what he will bring to the side with his bullocking style of play.
“He brings aggression and he'll add a lot to our forward pack,” Demetriou said.
“He’s a guy who wants to rip in and wants do the best for his teammates so he’ll fit in well with the group.”
If there's one headache for Wayne Bennett - albeit a positive one - it's figuring out exactly where Su’A fits into the side, particularly with the likes of John Sutton, Sam Burgess and Ethan Lowe already holding down spots in the back row.
But according to Demetriou, the addition of Su’A is one that will give the coaching staff a unique opportunity to have a more hands-on approach with the squad, with his arrival coming at an ideal time of the season.
“His addition certainly gives us versatility,” Demetriou explained.
“It gives us an option to put guys like Sam through the middle of the field at times. The versatility on our bench gives us options to mix and match our lineup, so he’s been a nice addition.
“The culture here is second to none and he’ll really respond to blokes like Sam Burgess and the leadership team.”
I just thought to myself that to take my game to the next level, this would be the Club to do it at.Jaydn Su'A Rabbitohs Recruit
After making the move down, plenty may assume his move to Souths was to reunite with Bennett, who of course was the coach that handed him his first NRL jumper.
And while there may be an essence of truth to that, Su'A's first response is one that will convince any South Sydney fan that he is here for the right reasons.
“Because it’s a good Club,” he said.
“I’ve been hearing great things about our players, and what they’ve been doing on the field has been working too.
“There’s a lot of history with Souths, and it’s a Club that has a great coach, good leaders and a lot of young players who are really stepping up.
“I just thought to myself that to take my game to the next level, this would be the Club to do it at.”